It's Your World - Change It!

National Counter Recruitment and Demilitarization Conference

July 17-19, 2009

Chicago, IL, Roosevelt University

Staff from almost every AFSC regional office participated in the NNOMY (National Network Opposing Militarization of Youth) National Counter-Recruitment and Demilitarization conference (more information, see www.nnomy.org).

Fast Facts! from the Conference

  • There were about 300 participants from almost every state in the union.
  • NNOMY counts 188 organizations doing counter-recruitment work among its membership.
  • We met our goal of bringing 100 youth to the conference, including 60 from AFSC programs in Atlanta, Hawaii, Chicago, Portland and San Francisco/Bay Area.
  • There were 33 workshops with over 75 presenters working in teams.
  • NNOMY groups identified 21 critical resources needed for carrying out work in their communities, including a brochure for youth on the morality of war and updates of AFSC’s Junior ROTC analyses.

Highlights!

  • Youth were able to attend the Youth Poetry Slam National Championships happening at the same time in Chicago. Competitors addressed issues of military recruitment in their communities, further validating the work we were doing at our conference.
  • David Morales, a youth from San Diego whose principal punished him for counter-recruitment activities by denying him his high school diploma, finally got the graduation ceremony he deserved with a graduation cap fashioned together from construction paper.
  • Youth traveled to the conference with Tim Franzen (AFSC-Atlanta), Pablo Paredes (AFSC-San Francisco) and Mireaya Medina (AFSC-Portland) -- making the long drive from Atlanta in a van and from the West Coast in a rented bus for a trip of discovery and sharing that will not easily be forgotten.